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Hélion, one of the most prominent abstract artists in Paris in the 1930s, recorded the progress of many of his works in a studio notebook. The passage written about Ile de France reveals his doubts about the relation between abstract art and reality: ‘The oppositions are developing. The colours are becoming refined, the space more supple, but the more I advance the more evident is the attraction of nature. The space is provisionally, miraculously, filled with light but the volumes want to become complete: objects, bodies.’

April 2012